DURGA Interiors – heavenly scents

On a mission to find my signature scent (or perfume) someone said I should check out this exotic shop on 4th Ave in Vancouver called Durga Interiors.

Photo: d. king    3466 West 4th Ave.

It was here among vintage furniture and devotional Hindu art that I discovered on a wall at the very back of the shop, a treasure trove of rare, unusual and organic Ayurvedic Essential Oils & Extracts hard to find outside the Indian Subcontinent.

Photo: d. king

It was here that I tested at least thirty oils on a toothpick, as they’re so concentrated that you need only to dip the tip of a toothpick to find out if you like it or not. Of course it got too overwhelming so I left the shop without purchasing a thing. But not for long.  One scent I could not ignore.  How to describe it? It had a slightly floral aroma but the earthy tropical undertones with a hint of spice toned it down a little.  It was beautiful but different so I went back a few days later to test only the one called “white lotus” (apparently rare) and when I walked into another boutique close-by, the girl who owns the shop said she loved the scent.  So back to Durga I went and bought it.  Seemed pricey for a tiny, tiny bottle but I realize that their oils (ones meant to be used as perfume) last all day – sometimes until the next day when only applying a tiny tiny bit.

Photo: d. king

So of course I had to research the meaning behind the white lotus flower.  It is known to symbolize Bodhi (being awakened), and represents a state of mental purity, and that of spiritual perfection; it is also associated with the pacification of one’s nature. This lotus is considered to be the womb of the world. Well; what do you know? I am pure perfection! Ha.  Well maybe more like someone who feels difficult to defeat.  Yeah; that’s more like it. I love the word “resilient.” I am feeling resilient like the divine plant itself – one that grows in the murkiest of muddy marshes but blossoms everyday with the pre-morning sun.  Love it!  The Buddha is known to sit on its iconic petals.

Durga, (Sanskrit: “the Inaccessible”) in Hinduism, a principal form of the Goddess, also known as Devi and Shakti. The word Durga (दुर्गा) literally means “impassable”, “invincible, unassailable”. It is related to the word Durg (दुर्ग) which means “fortress, something difficult to defeat or pass”.

No wonder I loved the vibe inside this unusual place.

Photo: d. king

Of course the end result is that other people can wear this very same scent… although it  smells differently on each of us because of our unique bodily chemistry.

If you live in Vancouver or visiting and want to test out something more particular than what you’d find elsewhere then this is the place.

Taken from their website: At Durga, we are all about providing you with inspiration, not only in the form of contemporary and antique Indian styles, colours and innovative designs, but also through soothing traditional music, healing fragrance and a soulful ambiance. All our items come with a brief description, age and provenance so you can walk away with as much knowledge as you can about the pieces in your hands. Visit us today and prepare to be transported to another time!

 

Bard on the Beach

This is what I’m talking about…

Photo taken from Bard Site

The tents are up and the shows have begun. We can gather once more as a community with world class theatre in the park.  Vancouver welcomes Bard’s 33rd season with three new productions.

I cannot tell you how sad it was walking by the Vanier Park location with my dog for two long summers of darkness.  By that I mean no tents to be seen during the pandemic shut down period. But now the Bard is Back and stronger than ever!

Photo: d. king

I attended the opening night of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – an appropriate production to start off this beloved Shakespeare Festival as the story is all about love, magic and dreams.  With that comes fairies, goblins, misunderstandings, confusion, egos, love gone wrong – and finally made right.  Kind of like life itself but with a Shakespearian twist.

Elyza Samson, Carly Street, Polina Olshevska, Kate Besworth & Anna Wang-Albini in the magical fairy woods A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2022
Photo: Tim Matheson

Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece follows four young lovers and a troupe of stumbling actors through enchanted woods, on a journey of discovery to find out who they are, whom they love, and why it matters. Beginning in a world in disrepair, the story moves to the forest, where the natural and supernatural have merged and elves, goblins, and talking trees guide the way.

Heidi Damayo, Emily Dallas, Christopher Allen & Olivia Hutt play a quartet of magically manipulated lovers in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2022
Photo: Tim Matheson

If you like slapstick comedy with a Shakespearean silliness, you’ll love this production. The costumes and sets are outstanding.

Directed by veteran Bard director and actor Scott Bellis (director – The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 2017; Bottom – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2014). Onstage from June 8 – September 24.

Let me know how you like it…

TICKETS:

https://bardonthebeach.org/whats-on/discover-our-2022-season/

 

The Mood: Midsummer Night’s Dream

Vancouver’s Shakespeare Festival “Bard on the Beach” is back with a 2022 lineup filled with laughter, suspense and excitement.

(A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Why do people refer to Shakespeare as “the Bard?”

Since the word “bard” means poet, we’re essentially calling Shakespeare “the Poet” when we refer to him as “the Bard.” Since centuries upon centuries of poetry enthusiasts concur that he’s one of the greatest poets that has ever lived, it’s only fitting we call him “the Poet.” Thank you Google.

Our Bard Village is where festival goers from home and around the world can enjoy world-class plays, special events from light opera and VSO evenings to wine tastings with food & fireworks. Something that was certainly missed over the past two years.  Luckily for me I can walk there in minutes.

I’m looking forward to attending the opening night of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” 

Synopsis:

Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece follows four young lovers and a troupe of stumbling actors through enchanted woods, on a journey of discovery to find out who they are, whom they love, and why it matters. Beginning in a world in disrepair, the story moves to the forest, where the natural and supernatural have merged and elves, goblins, and talking trees guide the way. It’s time again to enter a place of love, laughter and magic!

“I adore this play – it’s full of joy, magic and love. This is my tenth (Dream) production and I can’t wait to see it onstage again!” – Christopher Gaze, Bard Artistic Director

Directed by veteran Bard director and actor Scott Bellis (director – The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 2017; Bottom – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2014). Onstage from June 8 – September 24.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Fireworks and Barbeque Night

Have you been?

Upcoming Plays:

Harlem Duet: This Governor-General’s Award-winning drama explores the complicated relationship of a Black couple in three key periods in the American Black experience: 1860, before the US Emancipation Proclamation; 1928, during New York’s Harlem Renaissance; and in post-civil rights 1997. Each setting reframes the story of the woman, her deep love for her partner, and her sacrifices – and resilience – in the face of his betrayal. With connections to OthelloHarlem Duet explores important contemporary questions about race, privilege and relationships.

Romeo + Juliet: Shakespeare spins a tragic and timeless story of two young people who fall deeply in love, in spite of a bitter feud that divides their families. Their passion – and Juliet’s courage – never fail to move and inspire us. And today more than ever, the play’s “two households alike in dignity” are a powerful reminder that with love, even the world’s greatest wounds can be healed. This production, in a classical setting, casts new light on Juliet’s experience.

Photos: taken from Bard website

For Tickets:

 https://bardonthebeach.org/whats-on/2022-season-

 

Collective Chemistry

What makes an Artist tick? Saying things with color and shapes that you cannot say any other way because there are no words. Only feelings.

Everything Comes Next…

Bijal Patel showcases a personal journey of loss and trauma through mixed media art where she begins to work blindfolded, responding to music in black ink channeled by inner emotions. It results in a complex and hauntingly beautiful display of inner reflection, that once blindfold is removed she then turns empty spaces into color and line work. An extraordinary play on shadow and light.

I popped into a pop-up art gallery on Dunbar called “Visual Space” so say hello to my friend Bi (Bee) who graduated from Emily Carr and take in her impressive work and that of four other artists: Kier Enemark, Ann Robson, N Byrtus and Mark Yeomanthat.  They all make up a group called “Collective Chemistry.” I love that name.

Raven series by Kier Enemark

Landscape series by Ann Robson

If you’d like to inquire about these pieces and more (not shown here) please contact: collectivechemistry1@gmail.com)

https://www.visualspace.ca/

Photos: d. king

 

ART Vancouver

Uniting Nations through the Power of Art

As the evening starts to open up.

The Aim of Art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance” – Aristotle.

Art Vancouver, Western Canada’s most prestigious art fair is back this year at the Vancouver Convention Center West. Featuring reputable galleries and artists from across Canada and around the world. May 5 – 8th 2022.

Ron Art Mania

I attended the opening with my friend Megan last night. It was an overwhelming feast for the eyes as we wandered around and visited all the exhibitors.  There is truly something for everyone’s taste – well almost.  No booth is alike.

Reinvent by David X – Mixed Media of Elon Musk

What I realize from having visited various art shows and galleries is that we can appreciate a painting, sculpture, photograph and other mixed media works of art for the sheer ingenuity each of these artists put into their work as well as the power of a message, whether you like the piece for yourself or not.

Maybe you don’t find a work visually appealing or perhaps it doesn’t go with your décor, but we can still try to accept and welcome all the different styles, imagination and heart put into the work  – and as this show went to prove, there’s plenty of inventiveness out there, and overall…that goes to create an incredible event.

Industrial Design Artist German Aguirre Reder

Lisa Wolfin – Director’s Foreword:

Whether it be with a piece of clay, brush, or pencil, we all have the capacity to create love.  To say something through a full scale of colour or none at all, it is art which gives a voice to anyone who wishes to use it.  And it is only when you have the courage to share and admire these gifts that an event like Art Vancouver is made possible.  Surrounding ourselves with original art in our homes, the loving energy used to create the art emanates into our space.”

 I took tons of photos so as I’m sharing some today, I’ll post more next week.  Let me know what you think.

We loved a lot of what we saw

Still; if you’re focused on a very specific style for a set area of your home, you may or may not find what you’re looking for, even at a show of this calibre.  Art is so subjective.  You have to fall in love with your personal choice and it has to evoke some emotion. Art for art’s sake is not enough.

I highly recommend Art International Vancouverthis weekend.

Photos: d. king

https://www.artvancouver.net/

Sky Lilah and her wonderful collages and sparkly dress.
James Darin Corbiere Waabshki Makwa (White Bear) – Cowichan Bay, B.C.
Bones & the Residential School of Doom.

Marc Hazel (in mask) with Quynh Nguyen in artistic dress.
Erik Markovs, Portland, USA. Using vintage wallpaper and other materials to create unique and beautiful mosaic wall art.

By Freakshow. And yes; it was!

Wine is an art unto itself and I might add very personal too. I’ll sample this one at the upcoming International Wine Festival (May 16-22) – also at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see” – Edgar Degas.

There’s Something about Mary Woronov

Back at the Factory…or in this case the cultural center…

Ramona, Mary in the middle and Me.

A group of us attended an art/film/book signing event for Mary Woronov; former muse to Andy Warhol.  A muse by definition is a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist. However, Woronov has since become her own creative artist as actor, figurative painter and author.  But getting back to Andy…

I’ve always had a fascination with Andy Warhol, going so far as once trying to locate him (at a relatively young age) at his studio in Manhattan that everyone referred to as “the Factory.”  Unfortunately he wasn’t there and I’m not even sure what would have happened had I found him.  Perhaps he’d have hired me as an assistant, perhaps he would have put me in one of his underground movies and I would’ve become his muse or maybe he would have just told me to scram…but I didn’t see it that way.

Art by Mary Woronov

Being a bit of a mystery, his work appealed to me and he was way ahead of his time having eventually predicted what is now happening with social media where an average person can become famous through avenues like YouTube or tik tok.  It’s fascinating actually; the world is wide open and yet; it’s not really “real.”  Reality TV, influencers and Art is everywhere.  I remember Warhol’s “Interview Magazine”, nicknamed “The Crystal Ball of Pop”, featuring interviews with celebrities, artists, musicians, and creative thinkers. In 2018, the publication ‘folded’ and ended both its print and web publications.  Times have changed.  But sometimes it’s important to hear significant stories from the past.

with Claudia Reid of Palm Springs POV + variety show entertainer.

Which brings me to my recent meeting with former Warhol muse and cult star Mary Woronov.  It was at the closing reception of her art series “the mystery of the red shoe” and a movie she starred in called “Rock ‘n Roll High School,” at the Palm Springs Cultural Center last Saturday night – the closing night of a MARY WORONOV MEGASPECTIVE presented by The Ebersole Hughes Company – the same documentarian duo who did “House of Cardin,” “My Name is Lopez,” “Mansfield 66/67,” “Dear Mom, Love Cher,” and others.  I’m a huge fan of their work.

Sponsored by HELLTOWN Whiskey & The Cheetah Hotel (links below).

with Roy; creator & co-founder of Helltown Whiskey

Gathered around was an eclectic bunch, to say the least:  An “in-the-know” crowd of documentarians, entertainers, musicians, whiskey makers and the odd blogger who remains curious.

L-R (Me, Mary Woronov, Ramona Huth, Roy Rogers Oldenkamp, P. David Ebersole, Kitty Joselle Gilvezan.

It’s clear that not everyone knows who Mary Woronov is.  A major cult figure as an actress for her work with Andy Warhol and Roger Corman films, she is also an accomplished painter and writer, having published three books —Wake for the Angels: Paintings and Stories, her autobiography Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory, and the novel Snake.

Kitty Joselle and hubby Dan Gilvezan

Woronov joined Warhol’s entourage after a class trip to the Factory and starred in a number of his underground films (Chelsea Girls for one), and she appeared as a go-go dancer in the Velvet Underground’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable shows. She left the Factory in the late 1960s and, after recovering from a heavy methamphetamine addiction, spent two years in Europe with a friend. It was during this time, Warhol was shot by Valerie Solanas, and thanks to the now altered Factory dynamic, “there was nothing to go back to.” She then supported herself with work in off-Broadway theatre, got married to director/producer Theodore Gershuny, appearing in three of his films.

Woronov is most famous for her role as Mary Bland in Paul Bartel’s black comedy Eating Raoul (1982).

She’s also funny as hell.  It was a pleasure being in her company.

Speaking of hell….there was Helltown Whiskey where co-founder Roy Rogers Oldenkamp (an L.A. Art Dealer) gave my friend Ramona and me a little education on the making of whiskey as we sampled whiskey sours which turned out to be pretty darn tasty.  The evening ended with us getting a lift to another bar called Truss & Twine with an entertainer who plays piano and sings Dean Martin tunes while his wife sings Dinah Shore oldies. The show is appropriately called “Dino and Dinah.” 

Welcome to Palm Springs!

Cheers!

 Cheetah Hotel:

https://www.cheetahhotelps.com/

Helltown Whiskey

Home

Maison Bleue Moderne

Oh, just another magnificent modernism maison.

Entrance to beyond la Porte Bleue.

I love observing how other people live. Very nice of the owners to open up their homes and let others take a peek inside and make them feel terribly envious by doing so.  I was feeling very Bleue in this home…but in the most positive way.

This home is like stepping into a vacation.  It’s a nod to the owners’ appreciation of beauty and being by the ocean with a modern nautical theme (despite being in the desert) as variations of water colors flow throughout, from vibrant turquoise to rich navy blues.  It’s just gorgeous.  I’m aware that I overuse this word but I just can’t think of another better word to describe this house and many others on the modernism open home tours.

Michelle Boudreau (pic below) recently re-designed the 1958 William Krisel originally designed Alexander Company home. She seamlessly merged materials and new spaces with modern technology while respecting the existing mid-century cherished design details.

The philosophy of the renovation was to establish a good relationship with the existing structure as it had beautiful bones.” Boudreau states.  I did notice that she herself has beautiful bone structure.  Just had to add this tidbit of info.

To create a poetic home that embraces the Palm Springs lifestyle, Boudreau selected from brands such as Brizo, Dunn-Edwards Paints, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting, Hunter Douglas & Tidelli.

Check out that wall paper!

The 2,400 square foot artful interior space boasts four bedrooms & four bathrooms.  And lots of gorgeous attractive coffee-table books which I adore. The home and the books are inspired by the owners’ colorful personalities and passion for sailing and travel.

Check out that bedding and wall paper!

The home is nestled below the San Gorgonio mountain range in Vista Las Palmas, Palm Springs.

Simply breathtaking!

All photos: d. king

Modernism week is on until February 27th.  Get tickets for events while they last here:

https://modernismweek.com/

 

Modernism Week – 70’s Featured Home

Welcome to the start of Modernism week here in Palm Springs…home to the largest concentration of Mid-Century Modern architecture in the United States. Modernism week is an annual celebration and appreciation of all things midcentury modern. Think design, architecture, art, fashion and culture.
This is one of the busiest times of year for tourism in Palm Springs when hundreds of events take place that include the modernism show & sale, fabulous signature home tours, films, lectures, premier double decker architectural bus tours, nightly parties, live music, walking and bike tours, fashion shows, classic cars, modern garden tours and even more. Of course numbers to events are a bit more limited now and keeping a safe distance is still in place, however it feels like things are getting back to normal.

Today I toured the stunning 1975 Palm Springs residence referred to as the “Seventies Sackley” home, as it was designed by noted architect Stan Sackley. The home was recently reimagined by interior designers Michael Ostrow and Roger Stoker of Grace Home Furnishings who purchased it in 2012.

Located in the prestigious Indian Canyons neighborhood, the house boasts deep mid-century roots and a distinctive architectural style.  Situated on nearly a quarter acre lot, the 3,044 square foot home contains three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a beautiful saltwater pool and spa. It has brilliant mountain views, high ceilings, clerestory windows and walls of glass. The formal entryway is expansive and the dining area leads to a step-down living and media room, while walls of glass line the back of the house that open to the pool with a wondrous view of the San Jacinto mountains.

A favorite feature for the couple is the combo living room and media room which is separated by one of Sackley’s signature touches, a see-through fireplace with stacked stone detail.

The house’s custom glazed floor tiles were another coveted element, as they’ve believed to have been designed for the house by Sackley himself. 

Stan Sackley is described by Ostrow and Stoker as an architect who left a great body of work but has remained somewhat under-appreciated until recent years.  Ostrow shared that following Sackley’s death in 2001, his work archives were sold at a yard sale.  “Soon after, someone would go up and down the street asking people if they wanted to buy the floorplans to their house,” he says.  “We’re lucky to have it so we can see how the kitchen was configured.”  When they gutted the kitchen, they located a piece of laminate that was from the old cabinet and found the old countertop, a walnut laminated material and a matte white glazed tile. “What we put back in makes it almost look like the original kitchen,” Ostrow says.

When it came time for an update to the home, Stoker and Ostrow decided to implement changes that remained sensitive to the architect’s original design. Eventually, the pair decided on a modest renovation of the kitchen and bathroom with no structural changes.  Luckily, the couple got their hands on Sackley’s original furniture floorplan.

The interiors now feature a classic modern take on Palm Springs style, with a bold green and blue color palette.  Vintage pieces are used throughout the home alongside contemporary pieces from Ostrow and Stoker’s own Grace Home Furnishings Collection and showroom lines.

All photos: d. king

For ticketshttps://modernismweek.com/

Chinese New Year – Year of the Tiger

In Chinese culture, the tiger is the symbol of bravery, wisdom and strength. This year, the Chinese Lunar New Year 2022 starts on February 1. 

2022 is the Year of the Water Tiger, which indicates a prosperous year due to the Tiger’s auspicious signs (strength, exorcising evils and braveness).

Chinese people believe that what you do at the beginning of a new year will affect your luck in the coming year. Staying up on Chinese New Year’s eve (January 31st, 2022) and saying good words to your family/friends like Happy New Year after the clock strikes 12 will certainly bring good luck.

The nature of the Tiger is brave, straight forward, born to lead, active, innovative, fearless and rebellious. What this indicates is that 2022 will come with movement, change and hope.

Well I for one sure hope for good changes to come. So moving on from here…

You’re a Tiger sign if you were born in the following years: 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022.

The following horoscope was written by Mina Zheng; Chinese Astrologer and Feng Shui master.

When we complete a 12-year cycle and the animal that corresponds to the year we’re born in rolls around, this often comes with an element of bad luck. It’s something we all have to face, and this year are the Tigers’ turn to face their ‘Own Fate’ year.

It will be a year of change and challenge, therefore Tiger people need to watch out for what they say and what they do this year. Aim to avoid direct confrontation.

For work: You may find yourself too busy or have too many ideas. Aim not to be too ambitious, rather lie low, focus on the basics and work on improving yourself. It is a good year for learning, taking exams and artistic pursuit.

For money: Money comes and goes this year: it is not a stable time for finance. This is the time to review and manage your spending. Things will improve by the end of the year.

For love: Your love journey is not very smooth this year. It can involve heightened emotions. Participate in wedding or engagement and happy events to improve your luck.

For health: Energy is low in this year. There is also chances for injuries, avoid dangerous sports. Be careful with driving. Don’t involve yourself with bad habits or be overly stressed. It is a good year to have your health checked, small surgeries and to look after yourself.

Lucky symbols: The Horse or Dragon Turtle. Red is a lucky color.

 

 

 

 

 

ART from the Heart

Is your house lighted or a dark prison? Are you living in every room or only one?  Are you living on a small level or listening to the call of your soul?

These are words from Jan Maccormack, a talented artist friend who resides in Sechelt, Sunshine Coast, B.C.  

I’m so impressed with Jan’s colorful and soulful paintings that truly come from the heart.  If I had to select only one, I’d have a tough time choosing.  Jan’s creativity results from her obsessive, experimental & restless nature. She paints using many different styles. They’re all so beautiful and uplifting...just had to share them with you.  

The Gateway in & out of this Incarnation (Series) by Jan Maccormack

The more lit your Soul, the more clearly you’ll see through illusions.  Allow yourself an inspiring glimpse of the bigger picture. Capture your creative visions, dreams, insights and intuitions as they are amplified.  Paint them, draw them, write them, dance them, cook them, pour them, sew them, mind map them, sculpt them ….. whatever embeds and imprints them into your heart, your psyche, your soma and your memory banks.

As of now… commit to lighting ‘all’ those rooms in your psyche.

You have the genius of heightened perception, seeing things, knowing things, and being there. The blessings, the grace, the heart’s wonder are full.  As this way of being ripens and matures, you draw the same kinds of marvels and wonders from others which makes it possible for the vibrancy to spread, grow and effortlessly bring this world alive!

I am thankful for existence today. I am grateful for where my life is, at/in this moment.

Where to find Jan’s ART:

Websitewww.janmaccormack.com

https://www.facebook.com/janmaccormackartist

https://www.instagram.com/janmaccormack_artist/